I’ve Seen the Devil, and It Comes in a Red Plastic Egg
June 27, 2014|Posted in: Parenting
We’re enjoying a low-key family dinner when I notice a semi-circular ball of flesh-colored goo peeking out of my tot’s tangled mess of curls.
“What’s in your hair?” I asked, patiently at first. “Is that SILLY PUTTY?”
“Huh?” she asks innocently, mid-bite.
“Is that SILLY PUTTY in your HAIR?” I repeat.
“Mooooooom, no! There’s no Silwee Puddy in my hair!”
Her daddy peers at me, then her. “E, did you put Silly Putty in your hair?”
“I didn’t!” she protests.
I spring out of my chair to investigate.
“Oh, E!” I shout. “There is Silly Putty All. Through. Your. Hair!”
“No there’s NOT!” she yells back. “There is NOT Silwee Puddy in my HAIR!”
“Yes there IS! How did this happen?”
“I don’t know!” she cries.
“My mind immediately races to when I could have been stupid enough to have left a 4 ½ -year-old alone for more than 30 seconds with that seemingly innocuous, bright-red plastic egg of chemically laced goo.
“I begin to try to remove said goo from her hair, which at this point, after a long day of outside play, is rivaling Don King’s. Then I notice that it’s not just clumps of Silly Putty intertwined through her shining golden curls. Oh no, that would be wayyyyy too easy. I see one slimy string of it here, another stringy piece there…it is, essentially, everywhere. EVERYWHERE, including stuck to the back of her shirt.
“OWWWWWEEEEEEEE!” she screams as I try to get some of it out.
“We’re going to have to cut it out,” I tell her. “We’re going to have to cut it out,” I tell my husband.
“NOOOOOOOOOO!” she screams. “I don’t WANT you to!”
I keep picking at it. She keeps screaming.
Then, of course, the scene escalates. Exhausted, my agitation kicks in. “Why did you do this?” I yell (as if it was intentional). “Why didn’t you tell me?” (Because she’s 4.) “How long were you going to leave this in your hair?” (Probably until her wedding day, if it meant she wasn’t going to get in trouble.)
“It won’t come out,” I insist. “I don’t’ know what we’re going to do.”
She is sobbing now. I’m mad, her dad’s mad, she’s mad, the cat’s mad, we’re all mad.
Our peaceful dinner, ruined.
Stupid, stupid Silly Putty.
As parents, we all end up there eventually, probably more often than we’d like to admit. Tiredness and agitation, coupled with an exorbitant lack of patience, overrules common sense. Instead of sitting down and thinking about the problem and finding an easy solution (<cough> Googling it), we flip out, and blame our kids for things that ultimately, we are responsible for.
I never should have left her alone with the “toy.” Parenting FAIL.
After a few minutes of this utter nonsense, we realized how ridiculous and insignificant the situation was, and calmed down. We apologized for yelling, and I calmly and rationally talked to her about what she should have done when she realized that she somehow managed to become one with the SP.
“Don’t be afraid to come to us if you get in trouble,” I told her. A lesson that I will continue to repeat as often as I can as she grows. Because, after all, today’s Silly Putty is tomorrow’s…Idon’tevenwanttothinkaboutit.
“Ok, mama,” she said. “I’m sorry.”
We hugged, we kissed, we had ice cream. Because ice cream makes everything better, no?
P.S. In case you’re wondering — baby wipes. It came out with baby wipes. And I didn’t even have to Google it.